by Festival's Feet on the Street
Season 3 at SEE••DS in LDF’s Brompton Design District opens with No Ordinary Love, a collaborative effort from Italian designer Martino Gamper and nine other top creatives, in a playful take on authorship and its importance in the design world.
Renowned designer Martino Gamper brings his latest project to the London Design Festival in conjunction with Actant Visuelle, having established himself as a leading, if not rebellious, light in furniture design; his bold examination of the humble chair in 2015’s 100 Chairs in 100 Days showed a willingness to bend the rules and push the boundaries that can be glimpsed at in his new show.
The SEE••DS London Gallery, a dual Special Event Exhibit (SEE) space and Design Store (DS) in the heart of upmarket Brompton, yesterday evening launched its third season of the year with No Ordinary Love, having previously exhibited collections by fellow Italians Pietro Russo and Stefano Rabolli Pansera.
The exhibition marks the first time that this group of designers and friends, including Bethan Wood, Max Lamb, Faudet Harrison and Jochen Holz, have worked together on a project. The group spent just a day and a half making ceramics by hand using a single material, clay - which Gamper calls “a social material”, in conversation with one another to address the duality between originality and collaboration. These pieces have been stamped with a sun symbol ☼ to represent an anonymous, collective author.
Each designer has also brought individual pieces to display at SEE••DS which are currently on sale for the rest of the season. However to purchase one of the ceramics, in a quirky twist to circumvent the normal buying procedure, potential buyers must choose whether to DAZE or DOUBLE: those who simply must buy an item can pay a set price (DAZE); but those for whom knowing the individual author is important can only discover the original creator by paying twice the price (DOUBLE).
This approach subverts the usual commerciality of design buying and also poses the interesting question of whether authorship, so vital in the art world, is as crucial in design. As a collective, faceless identity, is the value of a particular piece less than from a named designer, respected in their field? Does it, and should it, matter to buyers?
Take a look and decide for yourself at SEE••DS,
3 Launceston Place, London W8 5RL until Sunday 25 September.
Written by Katherine Allen
Edited by Rosie Howe